Areas of Specialty
Handling even the most complex and sophisticated legal matters
Attorney Barbara Keon has over 33 years of experience limited solely to divorce and family law issues and is capable of handling even the most complex and sophisticated legal matters effectively.
It is important that you have a family law attorney who will be honest and straightforward about your case. Barbara Keon provides each client with a realistic understanding of their case and the potential outcomes, and can help you work toward your most important attainable goals.
Whatever challenges you are facing, you deserve an Atlanta family law attorney who will be a strong advocate for you in all aspects of your case.
Divorce can be a stressful and daunting process. Choosing the right divorce attorney to represent you is one of the most important decisions you will make.
Success or failure in child custody cases often comes down to thorough preparation, which includes assimilating a team such as a custodial evaluator or guardian ad litem to represent the child, knowing the law, and being familiar with the practices and rulings of the Judge assigned to your case.
The Law Office of Barbara Keon, LLC, provides guidance to parents in cases involving child support. Child support generally takes the form of periodic payments made to a custodial parent from a noncustodial parent to ensure that a child’s basic living expenses are met and that they receive proper education, medical attention, child care, and support for special expenses.
High Asset Divorce
It's usually necessary to engage the participation of financial and accounting experts in cases where the nature of the marital estate requires specialized evidence as to value, the joint or separate character of the asset, the impact of a spouse's separate contribution on the value of the asset, or even to identify and locate assets which have been concealed or put beyond a spouse’s reach.
Business Ownership, Valuation & Division
All property must be equitably divided in divorce. A closely held business may be a marital asset and may require an expert trained in business valuation to determine its value. One spouse would own and run the business after divorce, and the other would be financially compensated in some form for relinquishing any claims to the business.
Modification of Custody, Child Support & Alimony
Custody can be modified based on a material change in circumstances, such as a move out of state or an older child making an election, and provided it is in the best interests of the child. Periodic support paid to a former spouse or for a child can be modified based on a material change in income or financial condition of either party.
Enforcement of Orders & Contempt
When a party willfully fails to follow a Court Order, a Contempt action may be appropriate to obtain compliance. Attorneys' fees can be awarded in a Contempt action, and the offending party is subject to incarceration.
A paternity lawsuit is filed by a Mother to obtain child support for a child born outside of marriage.
A legitimation action is filed by a Father to establish his custodial rights to his child.
Alimony & Spousal Support
Alimony is periodic support paid to a spouse based on the needs of the dependent party and the ability of the other party to pay. Temporary alimony may be awarded while a divorce action is pending. Permanent alimony may be awarded in a final settlement or trial. Alimony is taxable to the recipient as income and can be modified.
Property Division & Valuation
Georgia is an equitable division state, which means that in all divorce cases, property accumulated during the marriage as a result of the labor and investment of the parties is marital property to be "fairly" divided upon divorce. Fair does not necessarily mean equal.
Legal separation occurs when the parties cease sexual relations and no longer intend to live together as Husband and Wife. You can live in the same home and be legally separated if you meet the criteria of no sexual relations and intent to live separately.
Parenting Time & Visitation Rights
Every famly is different. The parenting time schedule of each parent with their child(ren) is dependent upon numerous factors, such as age of the child(ren), how well the parties get along, proximity of the two parents' homes, and who has historically been the primary caretaker.
Be sure to consult with a reputable lawyer if you are contemplating divorce. There are specific requirements to shield assets from a spouse through a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. There is a current trend of spouses attempting to shield assets in trusts. The legitimacy of this vehicle is currently being decided by the Georgia Supreme Court. Business owners often seek legal consultation to protect a business or partnership from marital claims.
Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial Agreements (entered into prior to marriage) and Postnuptial Agreements (entered into after marriage) are enforceable contracts, provided they meet the specific required criteria. The most important requirement is full disclosure of all assets and income. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney if you are contemplating entering into such an agreement.
Annulments are generally sought for religious purposes or when there is a fraudulent inducement to marry, which is discovered after the marriage and which results in legal separation. The effect is as if no marriage ever occurred.
Divorce For Men
The laws are now gender neutral in Georgia divorce actions. Alimony is generally in disfavor for long-term awards, short-term marriages, or as punishment for bad conduct. Men have equal rights to seek custody of their child(ren) and alimony from their spouse.
Divorce For Women
Women who have remained outside the workforce for a long period of time often find divorce unsettling. A strong attorney who will advocate for her client and seek substantial assets if available and/or substantial alimony offers a life boat.
Grandparents can seek custody in situations where there are two unfit parents. They can also intervene for visitation rights in a pending action between the child(ren)'s parents if they have had a continuing relationship with the child(ren) such that it would be detrimental to the child(ren) to not see their grandparents.
Secured debt such as a home mortgage, line of credit, or 401K loan is deducted from the fair market value of the asset to determine the net value to be used in equitable division of property. Unsecured obligations such as credit card debt or family loans often become the personal responsibility of the party who incurred the debt, rather than being viewed as a marital debt.
A Settlement Agreement is an enforceable contract between a Husband and Wife which resolves all issues of their divorce, to include custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, property division, and debt allocation. Divorce is a simple matter of procedure once there is a signed Settlement Agreement between the parties.
Most lawyers bill against a retainer at an hourly rate. "Price shopping" for an attorney is an ill-advised way to select a lawyer. Experience, resources, and judgment can save not only legal fees, but can result in a significantly better outcome for you and your child(ren). Never leave the most important part of your life in the hands of an inexperienced attorney. There is no bargain basement of "excellent attorneys."
All of our family law cases go through mediation before they go to trial, and most cases settle in mediation. A mediator cannot "force" the parties to settle, but instead, acts to facilitate settlement discussions and negotiations. You will actively participate in the mediation process, thereby giving you greater control over the outcome of your case, and ultimately, your future.
A party's separate property includes assets brought into the marriage, gifted to you from someoner other than your spouse, or inherited by you. Separate property is not subject to equitable division upon divorce.
Hidden Assets & Marital Fraud
The transfer of significant marital assets to a third part without the knowledge and consent of your spouse is discoverable in divorce and may be included in equitable division.
Complex Property Division
Tax implications, ease of transferability, and valuation are all important considerations in equitable division of complex assets.